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earth, and reaches to the end of time.
6. The encouragements and persuasive
helps which Christianity gives us to ful-
fil the duties of the covenant, are much
superior to those which were enjoyed
under any of the former dispensations.
Watts's Works, vol. i. ser. 47. 8vo. Gill's
Body of Div. Introd. Robinson's Ser-
mons, p. 147. Ridgley's Div. qu. 35.
'DISPERSION of mankind was oc-
casioned by the confusion of tongues at
the overthrow of Babel, Gen. xi. 9. As
to the manner of the dispersion of the
posterity of Noah from the plain of Shi-
nar, it was undoubtedly conducted with
the utmost regularity and order. The
sacred historian informs us, that they
were divided in their lands: every one,
according to his tongue, according to his
family, and according to his nation, Gen.
x. 5, 20, 31. The ends of this dispersion
were to populate the earth, to prevent
idolatry, and to display the divine wis-
dom and power. See CONFUSION OF

book of Job, and Paul's epistles, espes cially. The ministry of our Lord was a perpetual controversy, and the apos tles came at truth by much disputing, Acts xv. 7. xvii. 17. xix. 8. To attend, however, to religious controversy with advantage, the following rules should be observed; 1. The question should be cleared from all doubtful terms and needless additions.-2. The precise point of enquiry should be fixed. 3. That the object aimed at be truth, and not the mere love of victory.-4. Beware of a dogmatical spirit, and a supposition that you are always right.-5. Let à strict rein be kept on the passions when you are hard pushed. Vide Robinson's Claude, p. 245, vol. ii; Watts on the Mind, chap, 10.; Beattie on Truth, 347, &c.; Locke on the Understanding, chap. 10. vol. iii.

DISSENTERS, those who separate from the established church. The number of dissenters in this kingdom is very considerable. They are divided into several parties; the chief of which are the Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, Quakers, and Methodists. See those articles, as also NONCONFORMISTS and PURITANS.

DISSIDENTS, a denomination ap

DISPOSITION, that temper of mind, which any person possesses.

In every man, says lord Kaims, there is something original that serves to distinguish him from others, that tends to form a character, and to make him meek or fiery, candid or deceitful, reso-plied in Poland to those of the Luthelute or timorous, cheerful or morose. ran, Calvinistic, and Greek profession This original bent, termed disposition, The king of Poland engages by the must be distinguished from a principle: pacta conventa to tolerate them in the the latter signifying a law of human free exercise of their religion, but they nature makes part of the common na- have often had reason to complain of ture of man; the former makes part of the violation of these promises. the nature of this or that man.


DISSIMULATION, the act of dissembling. It has been distinguished from simulation thus: Simulation is making a thing appear which does not exist; dissimulation is keeping that which exists from appearing. Moralists have observed that all dissimulation is not hypocrisy. A vicious man, who endeavours to throw a veil over his bad conduct, that he may escape the notice of men, is not in the strictest sense of the word a hypocrite, since a man is no more obliged to proclaim his secret vices than any other of his secrets. The hypocrite is one who dissembles for a bad end, and hides the snare that he may be more sure of his prey; and, not content with a negative virtue, or not appearing the ill man he is, makes a show of positive virtue, and appears the man he is not. See HYPOCRISY.

DISPUTATION, Religious, is the agitation of any religious question, in order to obtain clear and adequate ideas of it. The propriety of religions disputation or controversial divinity has been a matter of doubt with many. Some artfully decry it, in order to destroy free inquiry. Some hate it, because they do not like to be contradicted. Others declaim against it, to save themselves the disgrace of exposing their ignorance, or the labour of examining and defending their own theses. There are others who avoid it, not because they are convinced of the impropriety of the thing itself, but because of the evil temper with which it is generally conducted.

The propriety of it, however, will appear, if we consider that every article of religion is denied by some, and cannot well be believed without examination, by any. Religion empowers us to investigate, debate, and controvert each article, in order to ascertain the evidence of its truth. The divine writings, many of them, are controversial; the

DISSOLUTION, death, or the se paration of the body and soul. The dissolution of the world is an awful event, which we have reason to believe, both from the Old Testament and the New, will certainly take place. 1. It is

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whom the prophet calls, in the same place, Menacheseh, which the Vulgate and generality of interpreters render Augur.-3. Those who in the same place are called Mecascheph, which the Septuagint and Vulgate translate "a man given to ill practices."4. Those whom in the same chapter, ver. 11. he calls Hhober.-5. Those who consult the spirits, called Python.-6. Witches, or magicians, called Judeoni. 7. Necromancers, who consult the dead.-8. Such as consult staves, Hosea, iv. 12. called by some Rhabdomancy.→→ 9. Hepatoscopy, or the consideration of the liver.

DIVERSION, something that unbends the mind, by turning it off from care. It seems to be something lighter than amusement, and less forcible than pleasure. It is an old simile, and a very just one, that a bow kept always bent will grow feeble, and lose its force. The alternate succession of business and diversion preserve the body and soul in the happiest temper. Diversions must, however, be lawful and good. The play-house, the gaming-table, the masquerade, and midnight assemblies, must be considered as inimical to the morals and true happiness of man. The most rational diversions are conversation, reading, singing, music, riding, &c. They must be moderate as to the time spent in them, and expense of them; seasonable, when we have (as Cicero observes) dispatched our serious and important affairs. See Grove's Regula-written a celebrated treatise on it.)tion of Diversions; Watts's Improve- 10. Pyromancy, a divination made by ment of the Mind, vol. ii. sec. 9. Blair's fire. Thus we see what arts have been Sermons, vol. ii. p. 17. Burder's Ser-practised to deceive, and how designing mon on Amusements; Friend's Even- men have made use of all the four eleing Amusements. ments to impose upon weak minds. DIVINATION, is a conjecture or surmise formed concerning some future event from something which is supposed to be a presage of it; but between which there is no real connection, only what the imagination of the diviner is pleased to assign in order to deceive.

Different kinds of divination which have passed for sciences, we have had: 1. Aeromancy, divining by the air. 2. Astrology, by the heavens.-3. Augury, by the flight and singing of birds, &c.-4. Chiromancy by inspecting the hand.-5. Geomancy, by observing of cracks or clefts in the earth.-6. Haruspicy, by inspecting the bowels of animals.-7. Horoscopy, a branch of astrology, marking the position of the heavens when a man is born.-8. Hydromancy, by water.-9. Physiognomy, by the countenance. (This, however, is considered by some as of a different nature, and worthy of being rescued from the rubbish of superstition, and placed among the useful sciences. Lavater has

DIVINE, something relating to God. The word is also used figuratively for any thing that is excellent, extraordinary, and that seems to go beyond the power of nature and the capacity of man. It also signifies a minister, or cler gyman. See MINISTER.

not an incredible thing, since nothing of a material nature is formed for perpetual duration.-2. It will doubtless be under the direction of the Supreme Being, as its creation was.-3. The soul of man will remain unhurt amidst this general desolation.-4. It will be an introduction to a greater and nobler system in the government of God, 2 Pet. iii. 13.—5. The consideration of it ought to have a great influence on us while in the present state, 2 Pet. iii. 11, 12. See CONFLAGRATION.

Divination of all kinds being the offspring of credulity, nursed by imposture, and strengthened by superstition, was necessarily an occult science, retained in the hands of the priests and priestesses, the magi, the soothsayers, the augurs, the visionaries, the pricsts of the oracles, the false prophets, and other like professors, till the coming of Jesus Christ, when the light of the Gospel dissipated much of this darkness. The vogue for these pretended sciences and arts is nearly past, at least in the enlightened parts of the world. There are, nine different kinds of divination mentioned in Scripture. These are, 1. Those whom Moses calls Meonen of Anan, a cloud, Deut. xviii, 10.-2. Those

DIVINITY, the science of theology. See THEOLOGY.


DIVORCE, is the dissolution of marriage, or separation of man and wife. Divorce a mensa et thoro, i. e. from bed and board,-in this case the wife has a suitable maintenance allowed her out of her husband's effects. Divorce a vinculo matrimonii, i. e. from the bonds of matrimony, is strictly and properly divorce. This happens either in consequence of criminality, as in the case of adultery, or through some essential impediment; as consanguinity, or affinity within the degrees forbidden, pre-contract, impotency, &c. of which impedi

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ments the canon law allows no less truth, which, though it has not the form

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than 14. In these cases the woman receives again only what she brought. Sentences which release the parties a vinculo matrimonii, on account of impuberty, frigidity, consanguinity within the prohibited degrees, prior marriage, or want of the requisite consent of parents or guardians, are not properly dissolutions of the marriage contract, but judicial declarations that there never was any marriage; such impediment subsisting at the time as rendered the celebration of the marriage rite a mere nullity. And the rite itself contains an exception of these impedi


The law of Moses, says Dr. Paley, for reasons of local expediency, permitted the Jewish husband to put away his wife; but whether for every cause, or for what cause, appears to have been controverted amongst the interpreters of those times. Christ, the precepts of whose religion were calculated for more general use and observation, revokes his permission as given to the Jews for their hardness of heart, and promulges a law which was thenceforward to confine divorces to the single cause of adultery in the wife, Matt. xix. 9. Inferior causes may justify the separation of husband and wife, although they will not authorize such a dissolution of the marriage contract as would leave either at liberty to marry again; for it is that liberty in which the danger and mischief of divorces principally consist. The law of this country, in conformity to our Saviour's injunction, confines the dissolution of the marriage contract to the single case of adultery in the wife; and a divorce even in that case can only be brought about by an act of parliament, founded upon a previous sentiment in the spiritual court, and a verdict against the adulterer at common law; which proceedings taken together, compose as complete an investigation of the complaint as a cause can receive. See Paley's Mor. and Pol. Philosophy, p. 273; Doddridge's Lectures, lect. 73. DOCETÆ, the followers of Julius Cassianus, one of the Valentinian sect, towards the close of the second century. They believed and taught that the actions and sufferings of Jesus Christ were not in reality, but only in appear


DOCTRINE, the principles or positions of any sect or master. As the doctrines of the Bible are the first principles and the foundation of religion, they should be carefully examined and well understood, The Scriptures pre

of a regular system, yet its parts are such, that, when united, make the most complete body of doctrine that we can possibly have. Every Christian, but divines especially, should make this their study, because all the various doctrines should be insisted on in public, and explained to the people. It is not, however, as some suppose, to fill up every part of a minister's sermon, but considered as the basis upon which the practical part is to be built. Some of the divines in the last century overcharged their discourses with doctrine, especially Dr. Owen and Dr. Goodwin. It was common in that day to make thirty or forty remarks before the immediate consideration of the text, each of which was just introduced, and which, if enlarged on, would have afforded matter enough for a whole sermon. A wise preacher will join doctrine and practice together.

Doctrines, though abused by some, yet, properly considered, will influence the heart and life. Thus the idea of God's sovereignty excites submission; his power and justice promote fear; his holiness, humility and purity; his good ness, a ground of hope; his love excites joy; the obscurity of his providence requires patience; his faithfulness, confidence, &c.

DOMINICANS, a religious order; in some places called Jacobins, and in others Predicants, or preaching friars. The Dominicans take their name from their founder, Dominic de Guzman, a Spaniard, born in 1170, at Calaroga, in Old Castile: he was first canon and archdeacon of Ossuna; and afterwards preached with great zeal and vehemence against the Albigenses in Languedoc, where he laid the first foundation of his order. It was approved of in 1215 by Innocent III. and confirmed in 1216, by a bull of Honorius III. under the title of St. Augustin; to which Dominic added several austere precepts and observances, obliging the brethren to take a vow of absolute poverty, and also the title of preaching friars, because public instruction was the main end of their institution, and to abandon entirely all their revenues and posses sions. The first convent was founded at Thoulouse, by the bishop thereof and Simon de Montfort. Two years afterwards they had another at Paris, near the bishop's house; and some time after, a third in the Rue St. Jaques, (St. James's street,) whence the denomination of Jacobins. Just before his death,


Dominic sent Gilbert de Fresney, with || tions. A person named Jetzer, who twelve of the brethren, into England, was extremely simple, and much inwhere they founded their first monas-clined to austerities, and who had tatery at Oxford, in the year 1221, and ken their habit as a lay-brother, was soon after another at London. In the chosen as the instrument of the deluyear 1276, the mayor and aldermen of sions they were contriving. One of th the city of London gave them two whole four Dominicans, who had undertaken streets, by the river Thames, where the management of this plot, conveyed they erected a very commodious con- himself secretly into Jetzer's cell, and vent; whence that place is still called about midnight appeared to him in a Blackfriars, from the name by which horrid figure, surrounded with howling the Dominicans were called in England. dogs, and seeming to blow fire from his St. Dominic at first only took the habit nostrils, by the means of a box of comof the regular canons; that is, a black bustibles which he held near his mouth. cassock and rochet: but this he quitted, In this frightful form he approached in 1219, for that which they have ever Jetzer's bed, told him that he was the since worn, which, it is pretended, was ghost of a Dominican, who had been shown by the Blessed Virgin herself to killed at Paris, as a judgment of Heathe beatified Renaud d'Orleans. This ven for laying aside his monastic habit; order has been diffused throughout the that he was condemned to purgatory whole known world. They reckon for this crime; adding, at the same three popes of this order, above sixty time, that by his means he might be cardinals, several patriarchs, a hun- rescued from his misery, which was bedred and fifty archbishops, and about yond expression. This story, accomeight hundred bishops, besides masters panied with horrible cries and howlings, of the sacred palace, whose office has frighted poor Jetzer out of the little wits been constantly discharged by a reli- he had, and engaged him to promise gious of this order ever since St. Domi- to do all that was in his power to denic, who held it under Honorius III. in liver the Dominican from his torment. 1218. Upon this the impostor told him, that en-nothing but the most extraordinary mortifications, such as the discipline of the whip, performed during eight days by the whole monastery, and Jetzer's lying prostrate in the form of one crucified in the chapel during mass, could contribute to his deliverance. He added, that the performance of these mortifications would draw down upon Jetzer the peculiar protection of the Blessed Virgin; and concluded by saying, that he would appear to him again, accompa

Of all the monastic orders, none joyed a higher degree of power and authority than the Dominican friars, whose credit was great, and their influence universal. But the measures they used in order to maintain and extend their authority were so perfidious and cruel, that their influence began to decline towards the beginning of the sixteenth century. The tragic story of Jetzer, conducted at Bern, in 1509, for determining an uninteresting dispute between them and the Franciscans, re-nied with two other spirits. Morning lating to the immaculate conception, will was no sooner come, than Jetzer gave reflect indelible infamy on this order. | an account of this apparition to the rest In order to give the reader a view of of the convent, who all unanimously the impious frauds which have some-advised him to undergo the discipline times been carried on in the church of that was enjoined him, and every one Rome, we shall here insert an account consented to bear his share of the task. of this stratagem. imposed. The deluded simpleton obeyed, and was admired as a saint by the multitudes that crowded about the convent; while the four friars that managed the imposture magnified, in the most pompous manner, the miracle of this apparition in their sermons, and in their discourses. The night after, the apparition was renewed with the addition of two impostors, dressed like devils, and Jetzer's faith was augmented by hear ing from the spectre all the secrets of his life and thoughts, which the impostors had learned from his confessor. In this and some subsequent scenes (the

The Franciscans maintained that the Virgin Mary was born without the blemish of original sin; the Dominicans asserted the contrary.

The doctrine of the Franciscans, in an age of darkness and superstition, could not but be popular; and hence the Dominicans lost ground from day to day. To support the credit of their order, they resolved, at a chapter held at Vimpsen, in the year 1504, to have recourse to fictitious visions and dreams, in which the people at that time had an easy faith; and they determined to

make Bern the scene of their opera-detail of whose enormities, for the sake


of brevity, we shall here omit) the impostor talked much to Jetzer of the Dominican order, which he said was peculiarly dear to the Blessed Virgin : he added, that the Virgin knew herself to be conceived in original sin; that the doctors who taught the contrary were in purgatory; that the Blessed Virgin abhorred the Franciscans for making her equal with her Son; and that the town of Bern would be destroyed for harbouring such plagues within her walls. In one of these apparitions Jetzer imagined that the voice of the spectre resembled that of the prior of the convent, and he was not mistaken; but, not suspecting a fraud, he gave little attention to this. The prior appeared in various forms, sometimes in that of St. Barbara, at others in that of St. Bernard: at length he assumed that of the Virgin Mary, and, for that purpose, clothed himself in the habits that were employed to adorn the statue of the Virgin in the great festivals. The little images, that on these days are set on the altars, were made use of for angels,|| which, being tied to a cord that passed through a pulley over Jetzer's head, rose up and down, and danced about the pretended Virgin to increase the delusion. The Virgin, thus equipped, addressed a long discourse to Jetzer, in which, among other things, she told him that she was conceived in original sin, though she had remained but a short time under that blemish. She gave him, as a miraculous proof of her presence, a host, or consecrated wafer, which turned from white to red in a moment; and after various visits, in which the greatest enormities were transacted, the Virgin-prior told Jetzer that sheby the most seducing promises of opuwould give him the most affecting and lence and glory, to carry on the cheat. undoubted marks of her Son's love, by Jetzer was persuaded, or at least apimprinting on him the five wounds that peared to be so. But the Dominicans pierced Jesus on the cross, as she had suspecting that he was not entirely done before to St. Lucia and St. Catha- gained over, resolved to poison him; rine. Accordingly she took his hand by but his constitution was so vigorous, force, and struck a large nail through that, though they gave him poison five it, which threw the poor dupe into the several times, he was not destroyed by greatest torment. The next night this it. One day they sent him a loaf premasculine virgin brought, as he pre-pared with some spices, which, growing. tended, some of the linen in which green in a day or two, he threw a piece Christ had been buried, to soften the of it to a wolf's whelps that were in the wound; and gave Jetzer a soporific monastery, and it killed them immedidraught, which had in it the blood of an ately. At another time they poisoned unbaptized child, some grains of in- the host, or consecrated wafer; but, as cense and of consecrated salt, some he vomited it up soon after he had swalquicksilver, the hairs of the eye-brows lowed it, he escaped once more. In of a child; all which, with some stupi- short, there were no means of securing fying and poisonous ingredients, were him, which the most detestable impiety mingled together by the prior with and barbarity could invent, that they magic ceremonies, and a solemn dedica- did not put in practice: till finding, at tion of himself to the devil in hope of last, an opportunity of getting out of the


his succour. The draught threw the poor wretch into a sort of lethargy, during which the monks imprinted on his body the other four wounds of Christ in such a manner that he felt no pain. When he awakened, he found, to his unspeakable joy, those impressions on his body, and came at last to fancy himself a representative of Christ in the various parts of his passion. He was, in this state, exposed to the admiring multitude on the principal altar of the convent, to the great mortification of the Franciscans. The Dominicans gave him some other draughts, that threw him into convulsions; which were fol||lowed by a pipe into the mouths of two images, one of Mary, and another of the child Jesus, the former of which had tears painted upon its cheeks in a lively manner. The little Jesus asked his mother, by means of this voice (which was that of the prior's,) why she wept? and she answered, that her tears were owing to the impious manner in which the Franciscans attributed to her the honour that was due to him, in saying that she was conceived and born without sin.


The apparitions, false prodigies and abominable stratagems of these Dominicans were repeated every night; and the matter was at length so grossly over-acted, that, simple as Jetzer was, he at last discovered it, and had almost killed the prior, who appeared to him one night in the form of the Virgin with a crown on her head. The Dominicans fearing, by this discovery, to lose the fruits of their imposture, thought the best method would be to own the whole matter to Jetzer, and to engage him,



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